A warning for homeowners with storm damage in South Central Pa.

WEST COCALICO TOWNSHIP, LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. -- It's day two of cleanup for people dealing with Sunday's storm damage.

Some homeowners in Lancaster County are, quite literally, knee deep in the debris and trying to figure out just what their insurance will cover.

The National Weather Service says an EF1 tornado touched ground in West Cocalico Township.

When it did, it sent roofs, shingles, and trees crashing.

Insurance agents say it's important that anyone with storm damage grab a phone or camera and take photos of all the damage.

Audrey Stoner of West Cocalico Township has seen some dark days on Kline Road.

"7 years ago, my house burnt down here," she explained.

Then, Sunday that EF1 tornado touched ground and turned her front yard into a war zone.

"My relatives say it's time to move off the hill," laughed Stoner.

Giant trees line the back of Stoner's property; thankfully, the only thing they touched is Stoner's shed.

"That is completely totaled. Smashed," described Stoner.

There is also slight damage to the front of her house.

"When it comes to wind, that is a covered form of a loss," said Alex Gagnon of Ross Insurance.

Gagnon has a reminder for homeowners facing damage:

"Take photos. We always encourage them to call our agency directly," explained Gagnon. "We can look at the policy and make sure it's something that is covered. Usually, when they call us, we will encourage them if it's something, a couple shingles here or there to get an estimate and see price wise what they're looking at in terms of repairs; there's value in keeping your record clean, and it could be below the deductible."

Stoner says it's going to cost to remove the trees that didn't hit anything on her property, but she's thankful for all the volunteers on Kline Road the past two days who have lightened the load.

"An absolute God-send, a blessing beyond," she said.

A spokesman for the Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner is warning everyone impacted by Sunday's storms to be vigilant when it comes to contractors.

Some tips:

  • Get everything in writing including: total costs, the work that will be done, and a timetable.
  • Keep all receipts.
  • Be very wary about making permanent repairs before consulting with your insurance company because it may not cover it.
  • Homeowners should never pay in full until a contractor's work is done
  • Don't sign paperwork and leave sections where someone else can fill in the blanks

Any contractor who does $5,000 or more of business must register with the Attorney General's Bureau Of Consumer Protection.

Homeowners are encouraged to give their office a call with any questions or concerns at 1-888-520-6680.

A vast majority of contractors are honest, but when there is a storm that causes significant damage in the community, there are people who prey on homeowners.
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